Monday, 5 December 2016

211. Lethe europa niladana (The Bamboo Treebrown)

Number: 211
Family: Nymphaliidae
Sub-Family: Satyriinae
Species: Lethe europa niladana Fruhstorfer, 1911
Common name(s): The Bamboo Treebrown
Photography location: Ba Vi N.P. (Hanoi)

Well, after a number of years of searching but having little knowledge of the species, I finally clapped eyes on it: Lethe europa. I only managed a record shot (heavily cropped) as it was just too far out of reach. Still, I know where it is now and will search for it again next year (it is right at the end of its flight season now). It was worth all the effort - it really is a beautiful thing. For a naturalist, the most wonderful feeling is spotting a new species for the first time. I want to do cartwheels and backflips when I see something new. 

Northern Vietnam is a site of particularly high level of diversity for this genus, hosting over 80% of the known number of species (Monastyskii pp.32. in Anon, 2001).

In Greek mythology, Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, was one of the five rivers of the underworld, the other four being Styx (the river of hate), Acheron (the river of sorrow), Cocytus (the river of lamentation) and Phlegethon (the river of fire).

Male Lethe europa niladana, lower slopes of Mount Ba Vi, 4th December 2016
Female is similar but with broader oblique white band on FW

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